The OSET Thread - Will it Roll?

Discussion in 'Trials' started by K_N_Fodder, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    Folks -

    After lots of looking and poking around and selling my DR to finance this and other farkling projects, our (I say "our", but it's really my 5 year old's bike) 16" 36V Oset finally arrived. Kevin Templeton at Carson Motorsports/KTM in Carson City, NV gave me a great deal on a new 2011 bike. My little dude (and I) are psyched. :D

    This is the Strider of motorcycles... total game changer I think. Incidentally I had no idea that Osets even existed until the KTM rally this fall here in Bend. I had the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Lewis and was bemoaning the lack of good bikes for my little dude. Jimmy recommended Oset!

    [​IMG]

    The ability to jump on and ride around the yard and/or neighborhood while actually learning useful bike handling skills and not pissing anybody off is just priceless. It's an even bigger advantage here in Oregon where kids can't ride on public lands until they're 7 years old. :cry Maybe the Oset is what will finally allow America to turn out some Grahame Jarvis' of our own :D I just hope I didn't make a mistake getting the 36V bike instead of the 24... this thing rips...

    Oset in the box... very simple assembly. Essentially just the handlebars and front wheel.

    [​IMG]

    Waiting for the first 12 hour charge (they say 12 hrs for the first three charges...) was painful.

    [​IMG]

    Later that night I tested the factory speed setting and turned the potentiometer up about 1/2 turn. The bike almost ripped out of my hands and launched across the garage. Lesson learned... 1/2 turn is a LOT. :eek1

    First ride was this morning... outdoor temp about 24 degrees F. He sat on the bike and we talked and worked through some throttle and brake movements. Kicked up the kick stand, turned it on, etc. Talked about how to start out and that I had the speed turned way down. Oset recommends that noobs paddle along and work through some drills before standing up, etc. All good info... I think.... My guy is about 5.5 years old and is a pretty good rider after starting on a Strider at about 20 months. At any rate he fired it up in the yard, stood up, and then immediately rode it off the curb and headed down the street with me jogging along. Very cool!

    2nd ride was over lunch. Turned up the speed a bit and he got pretty comfortable with the bike. Some more lessons learned about turning off the key before trying to get off the bike...

    [​IMG]

    Curb "jump" video. He's getting better at keeping the front wheel up.

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/55077437?badge=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" width="500"></iframe>

    With all that said, I can't find any established community support for this thing. Oset has a Facebook page with some traction and of course the UK and American web portals (of which the US one is new and extremely buggy). There are some good threads here and elsewhere, but no "go to" location that I can find. (If there is one, please let me know and I'll shut up.) I'd love to develop that here, as I've seen some great Oset posts with custom fork and shock fitting, etc (nicely done triplewhipper!).

    Issues/Questions I'd like to address on our Oset are:

    • Variable chain tension - Oset says to adjust them "taut". Unfortunately ours is both *TIGHT* and *LOOSE*. This would seem to indicate that the rear sprocket is possibly not concentric with the hub. Any ideas?
    • The Dreaded Dead Zone - As Oset will tell you, when the speed is turned down on the 36V bike there's quite a dead zone in the throttle that makes starts and slow speed a bit tricky, especially for kids. I've seen mention of aftermarket motor controllers and DIY throttle stops. The bike can be a handful for my little guy. Any new info here is appreciated.
    • SLA Battery Charging - These three initial (and every 10 charges thereafter) 12 hour charges have me curious. The 36V bike appears to have (3x) 12V/10 AHr batts in series and a 1.8 A charger. 12 hours seems like a punishingly long charge. Is it really necessary to equalize the crap out of these things three times right out of the box?
    • Suspension - Eventually I'll probably try to address suspension. The bike seems pretty unbalanced out of the box, with a very soft front fork and a very stiff (at least to a 5 year old) rear end. What kind of sag are you guys seeing with the typical little 5 - 6 year old kid?
    • Tire Pressure - What are you guys running? The 30 - 40 PSI Oset recommends seems high?
    My ultimate goal (still haven't gotten the wife on board) would be to become an Oset dealer here in Bend and try to get some activities going for the little guys and girls. I know this is an uphill battle in the states, but our sport will eventually die or be legislated away (and then die) if we don't get the little ones involved.

    That's it for now! Now I just need to find a Trials bike of my own... :deal.

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    #1
  2. ridenm

    ridenm Long timer

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    Welcome to the world of OSET ownership. My three kids have each started trials on OSETs, and I am convinced they are the best thing to happen to off-road motorcycling since suspension.

    As you noted, though, the tech knowledge is quite dispersed right now. Our club has a number of dads who have fiddled with the bikes, trying alternative batteries and controllers, as well as adding more robust running gear.

    There is some depth in Trials Central, at http://www.trialscentral.com/forums/forum/62-mini-electric-trials-bikes/ for your perusal if you haven't done so.
    #2
  3. rotorhead511

    rotorhead511 Live and let live.

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    Congrats on getting the kid into riding. I have twin girls and I bought them a used Oset that should be here Monday. If they both like it ill get another. I also picked up a used GasGas for me so we can practice together.


    Thanks for the link ridenm, I'll be checking that out ASAP.
    #3
  4. ridenm

    ridenm Long timer

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    • I think you are on the right track, because the relationship between the driving sprocket and driven sprocket doesn't change like on a conventional motorcycle. But the quality of manufacture is a little inconsistent, so it wouldn't surprise me to find your suspicion is correct.

      Afraid I can't help you here -- my experience has been with the 24V bikes.

      Big drawback with the lead/acid batteries. Several of our dads swapped batteries for newer tech. I expect at least one of them will be around soon, and has already posted at Trials Central.

      There are (or were) accessory rear shocks and springs available from OSET and in the mountain bike markets. No quick fix for the forks, though. For our bikes I never found a soft enough setting for good compliance, and the lack of front adjustability made it a moot point anyway. No balanced settings to be had. The TC community may well have hit upon some solutions.

      I ran 15-18 psi with constant vigilance for the tire slipping on the rim and ripping the valve stem out. I also took to running the heaviest thorn-proof tubes with slime. One running gear swap I saw incorporated a rimlock on the rear, which allowed lower tire pressure.
    Lewisport has handled OSETs in the past. Don't know their current status.
    #4
  5. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Hey, Chris you should be supporting our local Oset dealer. Seems that Mr. Butler has become the know all guy.
    #5
  6. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

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    Stridder bike at 2 years old. Ocet at 3. They have training wheels for the Ocets. Children get older and they can't remember their first bike or when they started riding. Such a no brainer to start children on Ocets. Balance, throttle control, braking and just plain old time on a bike; such a great foundation to build upon later. Oh yea, don't forget the trial bicycle. Go to walmart's web site and order up a Koxx for the kid now.

    Check out Malcomb, he has like 18 video's or something. I think his old man has some serious coin, kid has a great life in front of him.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdDNEJTqMQ4
    #6
  7. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    Ridenm thanks for the detailed reply and I appreciate everybody's feedback. I had a good ride on my cycle today and by the time I got back my kid was raring to go. We hit some dirt trails near the house that had softened up nicely and it was the first time I think he *really* enjoyed himself on it. Especially when he realized he could spin it out and make some roost. The soft dirt softened the throttle hit as well. He ended up doing a bunch of hill climbing and I was impressed how he stayed on the pegs and let the bike do the work, even at very slow speeds. We're going to have a lot of fun with this thing, and hopefully more once I get the sprocket sorted and address the throttle dead zone.

    Next time out I'll get some pics.

    Oh and thanks for the Trials Central linky! I've been over there poking around but hadn't found that thread. Looks like they might have beaten me to the punch! If this turns into a decent thread I'll add the good links to the original post so they're easier to find.
    #7
  8. snooker

    snooker AttitudeIsEverything

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    I agree. Oset's are amazing. I bought one brand new from the inventor himself, Ian Smith in Denver just before he moved back to the UK. While I was there at his house I watched Oliver ride his around their tiny yard turned into a trials obstacle course - he was junior state champion with kids a lot older. The company namesake, Oliver Smith Electric Trials. :norton

    I rode ours around the pool table a couple of times and my grandson never got into it, only rode it when he was over to visit twice. He has progressed to bigger bikes now so I'm selling it. It's the only "toy" for my grandkids that I kept here at my house instead of letting him take it home because I didn't want to see it get wrecked. In retrospect maybe I should have let him take it but now that window has passed as he is too big for it. <sigh>

    For sale, an Oset 16.0 24v with lots of new spare parts for $888. Like new on the Flea Market. Not considering shipping it at this point but...

    I too considered being a dealer but the national sales rep lives in Denver an hour away so it doesn't make much sense. I'd love to see a better following for these as I think they make so much sense for kids to learn on. I hope you make your dream a reality, they just need a little publicity on how useful they are for kids around their own home to ride, like they would a bicycle without any gas or exhaust or noise or needing Dad around to kick it over and pick it back up, they are so light. Spread the word.

    Sorry for the thread hijack. Keep it rolling.</sigh>
    #8
  9. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    Snooker -

    No hijack at all. I kinda wish I would have bought the 24V... :D

    The OSET has a huge list of advantages, especially here in Oregon. Unfortunately I think it's still considered a motorized vehicle on par with a combustion motorbike in the eyes of the Legislature. I need to look into that some more to fully understand the ramifications.
    #9
  10. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    Hey guys -

    I'd love to see pictures of throttle "dead zone" mods. Most of what I've read indicates that when the parental speed governor pot is fully engaged the dead zone goes away... apparently not ours. I turned it full on and the throttle still has a significant, if not completely unchanged dead zone. I looked into the throttle on this 2011 bike tonight and it's not obvious to me how to fabricate a throttle stop outside of pretty significant dremel tool action. The throttle is a fairly self contained unit and I'm not seeing how to break it open. So far all I've found is the set screw, two little screws that secure the cover on the hall sensor, and the screw that detaches the hall sensor itself. Lighting in my garage is terrible or I would have taken more pics... this is the throttle unit itself. (Yeah I know... doesn't show anything....)

    Edit: Just went and measured "dead zone" from the current ~2/3 throttle position to full on, and it is identical at about 8mm on the grip. Dead zone doesn't seem to change with potentiometer position for us.

    [​IMG]

    Any wisdom would be appreciated :)

    Justin
    #10
  11. J Lewis

    J Lewis Numb Nuts

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    KN,

    Glad you took the advice and I know a few people who have a lot of experience with these bikes I'll point in this direction.

    JIMMY
    #11
    m143 likes this.
  12. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    :clap:clap Someday I'll get down there and you can show me what I'm doing wrong on a cycle Jimmy.

    Justin
    #12
  13. San Felipe Bob

    San Felipe Bob n00b

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    Here ya go mates!
    Give Steve a ring.
    Keep us posted on here.
    CONTACT
    OSET USA

    303-990-2390

    steve@osetbikes.com

    I have 2 boys ages 4 and 6.

    My 4 year old is riding the 12.5 sans training wheels thanks to Strider.

    My 6 year old has moved up to a PW 50 for the desert.

    We just got a used 16.0 / 36v.
    I can't wait for the guy in the red suit to deliver it!
    I have some upgrade/replacement parts on order.

    The 12.5 is set for full power.
    I run the tire pressure on the high side to
    help it spin a little.
    It's amazing how quick the kids learn to respect the throttle.
    My oldest son started riding the 12.5 when he was 2.
    I took the foot pegs off and added foam padding to the sides
    of the battery tray. He rode around using his feet as out riggers just like his Strider Bike.
    He had his balance down within a couple weeks and the foot pegs went back on.
    We did the same thing for my younger son.
    I'll post more tips and share some Jimmy Lewis inspired drills a bit later.
    #13
  14. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    So have you changed the gearing on the PW?
    #14
  15. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    Wow first post! Welcome San Felipe Bob!

    Yep I've talked to Steve a time or two, seems like a really good guy. Now I just wish they'd respond to the question I submitted through their website earlier this week... :1drink
    #15
  16. wilkinsonk

    wilkinsonk soup de grimace

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    Great to know! My son just turned 2 yesterday and although he's still getting the hang of his Strider I plan on getting him a 12.5 this spring. When I was home for a week last month I picked up a used KTM Mini Adventure but I'm going to hold off on letting him even see it until he has mastered the 12.5

    Thanks again,
    Ken
    #16
  17. zontar

    zontar lawnhater

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    congrats on the bike! wish my stepdaughter had started that young!
    #17
  18. San Felipe Bob

    San Felipe Bob n00b

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    The PW 50 is stock.
    #18
  19. San Felipe Bob

    San Felipe Bob n00b

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    Steve at OSET returned my email with an opolgy for the delay stating he was has email / computer issues.
    OSET is not quite as big as Yamaha & Honda.....Yet
    If you need prompt assistance you should probably use the old fashioned phone method.
    Their US website is fairly new and may have some bugs.
    Cheers
    SFB
    #19
  20. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Yeah my boy started on the pw50 long before the Oset. You can change out the shaft and pinion gear from a QT50 to get the bike off the line better. Just a thought. I worked around a lot of crazed race dad`s!
    #20